Every time I wander into a new pizza place to grab myself a slice, my mind drifts back to my childhood, munching on my Sicilian aunt’s homemade brick oven baked goodness. Needless to say I take pizza very seriously, and so this week when I ventured over to Lutherville’s long standing pizza delivery staple , I had my critic pistols at the ready.
It is quickly evident that the owners make no bones about the fact that they are a delivery and take out specialist. The almost non-existent parking lot and the complete absence of dine in tables let customers know this is not a place to sit and relax, but rather simply a countertop over which food dealings are done. With that said I also think it is worth it to point out that while the architecture may be unwelcoming, the staff certainly is. The employees are friendly and extremely helpful, and the operation is clearly a fun family affair.
As I looked over the menu at GT, located at 10 West Seminary Ave, I noticed a fairly broad range of choices such as stomboli, gyros, numerous choices of subs and even a small selection of pastas. Of course, I was there for the pizzas, which to my surprise were also fairly extensive. With choices ranging from the Hawaiian Chicken all the way to the Mexican Delight, GT’s specialty pizzas manage to be whimsical and diverse yet all stick to the principle of keeping things as simple as they need to be.
For me there is nothing quite so offensive as an under appreciated crust. Just as a great sandwich starts with good bread, a great pizza absolutely must start with a quality crust, and at GT the crust certainly doesn’t play second fiddle.
While I’ll admit the thick crust of my Margherita pizza was a bit on the filling side, and the thin crust of my “Fatso” pizza bared a striking resemblance to the thick crust, GT’s hand tossed homemade dough is still miles ahead of your standard franchise pizza joint’s. The crust was flakey and had a bold smokey flavor that absolutely added to the experience rather than simply acting as a flimsy edible plate.
For those of you who don’t share my strange obsession with dough, don’t be alarmed, because the toppings at GT are great too. There is no denying the difference fresh ingredients make in a pizza and that is a principle not forgotten at GT Pizza. With quality mozzarella cheese, a wide assortment of meats and vegetables to chose from, and a fresh tomato sauce that is surprisingly subtle, it’s really hard to go wrong.
On top of it all, GT has that great small business aura about it where things don’t feel processed or restricted. At the franchise establishment across the street from GT (I’ll refrain from name dropping but let’s just call it Pizza Shack) it would be unheard of to grow your own herbs in tomato cans in the front window, but as I watched the cooks at GT pluck basil leaves from the display I couldn’t help but feel a sense of coziness that reminded me of those summer days at my aunt’s house.
While the prices at GT may seem a tad on the lofty side with large pizzas running around $17, that is to be expected for a delivery-minded establishment, and best of all the delivery is free. For me, GT is sort of an embodiment of everything that is good about a small business: low overhead, great customer service, and plenty of attention to detail.
Franchise markets have their place to be sure, but great pizza is about taking the time to make simple, great ingredients taste the best that they possibly can. If you want a pizza that you can count on your best bet is to stick with the little guys, and if you’re in Lutherville, that little guy should be GT Pizza.
CORRECTION: Patch incorrectly provided the wrong address for GT Pizza in an earlier version of this story. We regret the error.
Editor's Note: The "GT" in GT Pizza stands for Great Tasting. Convinced?